Use AAdvantage miles to book travel for my family and friends

Finance >> Affordable Luxury Travel

Last week, I setup a plan to accumulate Hilton Honor points for an international vacation trip. Transferring Hilton Honors points from one person to another is quite costly.  I have used 30K HH points to reserve Hilton San Gabriel family trip next week (Los Angele - Las Vegas trip). How about using my parents' AAdvantage miles to reserve Hilton hotels instead as they do not travel much?  American Airlines AAdvantage FAQ page says so.  

Yes, when required to enter information on the Traveler Information portion of the redemption booking process, simply enter the name of the family member or friend who will be traveling on the award ticket. Please note, Dynamic Air awards cannot be redeemed for unaccompanied minors (children traveling alone under the age of 12).

I cancelled my Hilton Hotel reservation online to reclaim my 30K Hilton Honor points. Then tried to book the same Hilton Hotel - Los Angeles/San Gabriel using AAdvantage points.  It showed 29K AAdvantage miles was required, versus 13.5K AAdvantage miles for one night quoted two months ago.

Hilton Hotel LA San Gabriel, search before sign-in

The points required seemed too high.  I had not signed into AAdvantage website yet. The 29K AAdvantage miles still displayed after signed in.  Well, "let me think about it then and come back tomorrow", wondering if the AA website uses a point calculation algorithm similar to Southwest's fluctuating points reward system's.  Next day, I signed into the AAdvantage website first.  The points required this time was 17.5K AAdvantage miles.

Hilton Hotel LA San Gabriel, search after sign-in

I tried the same tests for redeeming Las Vegas Venetian Hotel, and observed the same pattern:

Las Vegas Venetian Hotel, search before sign-in

Las Vegas Venetian Hotel, search after sign-in

  • The AAdvantage miles required before signing in is much higher.
  • The subsequent sign-in does not change the AAdvantage miles required.
  • Sign into AAdvantage website first, then search for hotel reward shows the lowest AAdvantage miles required.
Sign into AA website first, before looking for hotel options.

My parents were glad to offer their AAdvantage miles to book the Hilton Los Angeles San Gabriel for our stay.

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